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Zumo XT vs Zumo 595 – Hands on Review

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Posted: 27/04/2020 at 12:43 PM   /   by   /   comments (0)

This article compares how the new Zumo XT stacks up against the Zumo 595, which is possibly one of Garmin’s most popular motorcycle GPS devices. The Zumo units have always been popular with motorcyclists who love its ability to be a straightforward control hub for their vehicle. Garmin has also ensured that it is compatible with the best mounts and accessories to get the most out of the device.

The Zumo XT is available from this Australian Store. You can view compatible accessories, what's included in the box along with topo maps comparison on this page. 

What’s Changed and Quick Takeaways

The Zumo XT has in most ways, improved on the Zumo 595 model, especially in areas that matter the most. The number one requested improvement was always improving the display. So this is the area we tested the most in different lighting conditions. Additionally, the Zumo XT has a big new feature in it capacity for dual-screen orientation. It can be displayed in portrait mode or landscape depending on what suits your ride best.

Zumo XT Direct Sunlight

Zumo XT Direct Sunlight

Zumo XT Alternate Sunlight View

Zumo XT Alternate Sunlight Alternate

Zumo 595 Direct Sunlight

Zumo 595 Direct Sunlight

Zumo 595 Direct Sunlight Alternate

Zumo 595 Direct Sunlight Alternate

The photos for both models were taken in direct sunlight. While the Zumo 595 performs well, the Zumo XT demonstrates the improvement in visual clarity via the larger display screen, higher resolution and brighter display. Honestly the photos we took here don't capture how bright and readable these displays are, but they do a good job showing the difference between the models.

Moving on to the second significant improvement besides the display is the new maps that come preloaded on the device and the access to Satellite imagery via WiFi downloads (no subscription required). The access to these maps helps turn this device from an on-road only GPS to a full off-road navigation device. Couple this off-road mapping functionality with the new adventure feature for recording tracks, massive POI database alongside the Ultimate Public Campgrounds database and you have got a motorcycle GPS that could navigate you practically anywhere, safely. This off-road functionality is why the Zumo XT is considered an all-terrain GPS navigator.

At this point we get into some of the less desirable changes. Firstly, the Zumo XT doesn't have any compatible tyre pressure monitor sensors which won't be an issue for most riders but it is something that the Zumo 595 had access to. Another feature is that the device no longer supports Garmin VIRB camera controls and it does not have a removable battery though the Zumo 595 did come with these features.

Full Specification Comparison

GeneralZUMO XTZumo 595
PHYSICAL DIMENSIONSWxHxD: 8.8 x 14.8 x 2.4 cm5.9"W x 3.8"H x 1.3"D (14.9 x 9.7 x 3.3 cm)
DISPLAY SIZE12.1 x 6.8 cm; 5.5-inch diag (13.9 cm)4.25"W x 2.55"H (10.8 x 6.5 cm); 5.0" diag (12.6 cm)
DISPLAY RESOLUTION1280 x 720 pixels800 x 480 pixels
DISPLAY TYPEMulti-touch, glass, high brightness HD colour TFT with white backlightsunlight-readable, transflective
DUAL-ORIENTATION DISPLAYYesNo
WEIGHT262 g13.2 ounces (374.5 g)
BATTERY TYPErechargeable lithium-ionrechargeable lithium-ion
BATTERY LIFEUp to 6 hours (up to 3.5 hours at 100% backlight)up to 4 hours
WATER RATINGIPX7IPX7
DROP RATINGMIL-STD-810N/A
Maps & Memory
PRELOADED STREET MAPSYesYes
DATA CARDSmicroSD™ card (not included)microSD™ card (not included)
3-D BUILDINGS AND TERRAINYesYes
3D TERRAINYesYes
INTERNAL STORAGE8GBN/A
INCLUDES MAP UPDATESYesYes
DOWNLOADABLE SATELLITE IMAGERYYesNo
Sensors
GPSYesYes
GLONASSYesYes
GALILEOYes
Outdoor Recreation
PRELOADED TOPOGRAPHICAL MAPSYesNo
Navigation Features
GARMIN REAL DIRECTIONS™ LANDMARK GUIDANCEYesYes
MILLIONS OF FOURSQUARE® POINTS OF INTERESTYesYes
TRIPADVISOR® TRAVELER RATINGSYesYes
ROUTE SHAPING THROUGH PREFERRED CITIES/STREETSYesYes
INCLUDES TRAFFICyes (with Garmin Drive™ app)Yes
LANE ASSIST WITH JUNCTION VIEW (DISPLAYS JUNCTION SIGNS)YesYes
BLUETOOTH® CALLINGYes (works with Bluetooth®-compatible helmet, headset, or smartphone; BLE capable)Yes (works with Bluetooth®-compatible helmet, headset, or smartphone; BLE capable)
SPEED LIMIT INDICATOR (DISPLAYS SPEED LIMIT FOR MOST MAJOR ROADS IN AU/NZ)YesYes
DRIVER ALERTS FOR SHARP CURVES, SCHOOL ZONES, RED LIGHT AND SPEED CAMERA WARNINGS AND MOREYesYes
Advanced Features
SMART NOTIFICATIONS VIA APPYesYes
WI-FI® MAP AND SOFTWARE UPDATESYesYes
ACCESS TO LIVE SERVICES VIA APPYesYes
Motorcycle Features
GLOVE-FRIENDLY TOUCHSCREENYesYes
CONTROL MUSIC AND MEDIA FROM SMARTPHONE OR MP3 PLAYERYesYes
SUNLIGHT READABLE AND WEATHER RESISTANTYesYes
TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR SYSTEMNoyes, up to 4 tires; individual sensors sold separately
GARMIN ADVENTUROUS ROUTING™YesYes
RIDER ALERT WARNINGS FOR SHARP CURVES, STATE HELMET LAWS, SPEED CAMERAS AND MOREYesYes
PLANNED & DYNAMIC FUEL STOPSYesYes
MOTORCYCLE-SPECIFIC POINTS OF INTEREST FOR CYCLE REPAIR SERVICES, DEALERS AND MOREYesYes
HELMET LAW NOTIFICATIONSYesYes
ELEVATION PROFILEYesYes
ROUND TRIP ROUTINGYesYes
SERVICE HISTORY LOGYesYes
VIRB® CONTROLNoYes
TRACK SUPPORTYesYes
CUSTOM MAP SUPPORTYesYes
TOPO MAP SUPPORTYesYes
REMOVABLE BATTERYNoYes
WIRELESS ANT+® TECHNOLOGYYesYes
Adventure Features
PAIR WITH COMPATIBLE INREACH® DEVICESYesNo
TRACK RECORDER (BREADCRUMBS)YesNo
IOVERLANDER™ POINTS OF INTERESTYesNo
ULTIMATE PUBLIC CAMPGROUNDSYesNo
Outdoor Applications
COMPATIBLE WITH GARMIN EXPLORE™ APPYesNo
INCLUDES AUTOMOTIVE MOUNTYesYes

Hardware Design

The Zumo XT has taken the rugged design of the Zumo 595 and turned it up another couple of notches in terms of rugged design with a military-grade classification (MIL-STD-810). This Military grade rating is for thermal, shock, drop, water and dust testing. The Zumo XT also has an IPX7 waterproof rating which means it can handle most water splashes and even heavy rain or even incidental exposure to water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Zumo XT Portrait Mode

Zumo XT Portrait Mode

The Zumo XT has a larger display screen giving the unit a sleeker edge to edge display and allows for dual-orientation functionality. Garmin has focused on improving the readability and screen display of the Zumo XT to make sure riders can very easily and quickly see the route navigation. Like the Zumo 595, the Zumo XT also comes with included mounting hardware which mounts to the handlebar of the bike.

 Features and Accessories

Finally, we get into the new dedicated all-terrain dedicated features for the XT. I will start with the one I was most interested in seeing on a motorcycle navigator and that is its compatibility with an inReach Mini Emergency Satellite Messenger. Now, this feature is dependent on you already having an inReach device (inReach Mini) with an active satellite subscription which will rule out the majority of people reading. I will not go into full detail about these 2-way satellite messaging devices (look at this article if you’re interested). Still, as a rapid rundown, the inReach Mini is an emergency SOS beacon that in a dire situation will firstly alert a local emergency team to your position and open a line of communication with them and will also immediately message friends/family.

Now the actual inReach functionality isn’t super sophisticated but in a situation where you need this device, it’s all about what you can reach (excuse the pun). When you’re in a dire scenario and the emergency beacon in your backpack may not be viable you’ve got another chance to trigger the SOS via your Zumo. Just as an added note as this is always asked people you give access can trigger a position report if you have not checked-in by a specific time.

All-Terrain Functions

The All-terrain features for this GPS include the preloaded topographic maps on the device, this is a great resource to give you a lay of the land while navigating you on a custom track. You can also dial up your route by using Garmin’s ‘Adventurous Routing’ this will take your ride from straightforward to a twisting gnarly adventure (there’s a slider control for how gnarly you want it to be). Another new feature is the ability to save and record a new track quickly. Just open the track recorder app on your Zumo and press start, and it will record everything about your route. Garmin has finally realised the potential of crowdsourcing by making sending these routes to your friends a breeze via their Drive App. Just click share and you can send the GPX file (the route you recorded or saved) to your friends via your phone.

You will also have access to a massive database of POI that you can add to your route if you like the suggestions. Finally, you also have access to the Ultimate Public Campgrounds database.

Zumo XT Track Recorder Menu

Zumo XT Track Recorder Menu

Zumo XT Main Menu

Zumo XT Main Menu

Bluetooth compatibility

  • Sena or Lexin Bluetooth headsets are compatible with this model and will allow you to hear turn by turn navigation

If you’re looking for compatible accessories with the Zumo XT there is a full list of compatible accessories on this page under the ‘accessories’ tab.

Summary

Overall, the Zumo XT is a solid new iteration in the Zumo series. It has a lower RRP than the original Zumo 595 with more features and better software processing power. This model beats out the Zumo 595 in most ways in that you get access to a huge range of off-road apps and features and a better display. There a couple of downsides in that Garmin did not bring over all of it’s accessories to be compatible with this model but that will only be a deciding factor for a small portion.